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Conversations Between
Four Black Abolitionist Music Makers

Imagine the conversations Ignatius Sancho, (1729 – 1780), Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de St. Georges (1745 – 1799), Solomon Northrup, (1807/8 – 1864), and Frederick Douglass, (1818 -1895) would have if they could have met. These amazing change-makers were all musically gifted and affected the dominant thought of their day.  "Conversations Between Four Black Music-Makers Who Helped Bring About Abolition" will invite a thoughtful consideration of Black history as it has either been remembered, or generally forgotten or hidden away, and explore some of the reasons why. Through an immersive experience of Black history using music, theatre, and mixed media arts, the audience will learn about the lives, countries, times, systemic laws, and iconic contributions of these amazing people.

Premiere February 1, 2025, 4:00 pm
North Carolina Museum of Art, SECU Auditorium

Charles Ignatius Sancho

1729-1780, England

The first Black person to vote in England, Sancho talents as a writer and composer changed British society's opinion of the slave trade and slavery. His letters  were published “to produce remorse in every enlightened reader”.

Joseph Bologne,

Chevalier de St. Georges

1745 - 1799 France and England

A violin and fencing virtuoso, his music rivaled Mozart's in the French Court of Marie Antoinette. Saint-Georges fought for racial equality in France and England. He became involved with the growing anti-slavery movement in Britain and established a French abolitionist group called the Société des Amis des Noirs (Society of the Friends of Black People)


Solomon Northrup

1807/8 – 1864, United States

His experience as free man abducted into slavery , as described in his best selling account "Twelve Years A Slave", furthered the cause of abolition by countering the narrative that slaves were happy and well cared for. Playing his violin helped him endure the long years of bondage.

Frederick Douglass

1818 -1895, United States

Tireless in his work to effect change in a United States degraded by slavery, Douglass also played the violin and sang beautifully. His grandson became a concert violinist.

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